Tuesday, 23 September 2014

black and white

Paul Newman, 1964

The Dennis Hopper exhibition is on at the Royal Academy until 19 October. Go and see it if you can. The rooms are spacious and well lit but the small size of the prints creates a sense of intimacy because you have to stand close and concentrate to see all the details.The images are displayed in the sequence chosen by Hopper for an exhibition in 1970 but there are a few missing, marked by place holders, which is a reminder that these are the original prints produced by Hopper himself. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 1965

Hopper was taking photographs at the end of the Sixties and his eye was voracious. Family, friends, movie stars, political demonstrations, street life, landscapes, architectural details, Hells Angels - all provided unforgettable images. I was particularly moved by the images at the end of the sequence which are shots of a blurry TV screen one showing the moon landing and another the profile of JFK.

Untitled (Blue Chip Stamps), 1961-67

Hopper is quoted as saying that he never carried a camera again after he started work on Easy Rider, his need for photography as a creative outlet had passed. I recognise that, the urge to move on to new projects, but nevertheless I look at these exceptional photographs and regret the loss.


  1. We walked past, no, in fact we walked around the Royal Academy on Saturday and had I been on my own I would have gone in. But I was with three other people who may not have shared my interest in photography, film or just pottering at an exhibition, so I kept quiet.
    I'm wishing now that I had spoken up.

  2. Definitely a good exhibition to visit. Amy and I visited over the summer hols (she's just started her GCSEs and is doing Photography as one of them). There's a nice cafe at the Royal Academy too!

  3. Wish I could, they look amazing. I never knew this about Dennis Hopper.

  4. I didn't realise that Dennis Hopper had been a photographer! I like the pictures that you showed though. xx

  5. Thanks for the heads-up on this exhibition. Hadn't planned to visit but plan to now.

  6. I imagine it's a fantastic exhibition. I love these kinds of images, they're so evocative, a real snapshot of life at the time. I didn't know that Dennis Hopper was a photographer either. CJ xx

  7. I had no idea that Dennis Hopper was a photographer either. Love that Paul Newman picture, but then he was very photogenic.


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